BACK TO SCHOOL WITH STEM EDUCATION IN FOCUS
There are always at least two different types of students when it comes to going back to school in the fall. There are the students that are more than eager to get back into the swing of things, learn a whole new set of information from their teachers, get involved in their favorite activities, and socialize with their best friends. Then there are the students that are desperately holding onto the hope that the approaching school year never actually comes to meet them. Regardless, back to school is quickly approaching and if you or your student are looking for a few STEM education related projects to get into the spirit, you’ll love the ideas that have been listed below.
Build A Desk
You do not necessarily need to be going back to school to need a desk that fits your needs. You do not even have to be a student of schooling age to enjoy the benefits of a new workspace in your desired location. So, this activity may be for you, your student, or a loved one and you may wish to make this desk at any time of the year. Regardless of the time, the reason, or the person, the idea of creating a desk to fit specific needs and purposes is one of the more practical reasons to learn STEM concepts as an everyday person. You will need to measure out the dimensions of your desk, decide if you need drawers, compartments, a lifting arm, hinges, glass features, and choose the materials that you will be using. You will be utilizing everything from your mathematical skills to build the right size desk to utilizing your engineering skills in building the desk in its entirety so that it is sturdy enough to last. Feel free to get creative when you are asked to build this desk.
Build A Pencil Case
You do not need to build something as large as a desk to capitalize on the benefits of building a project that requires measuring and innovation. You could create a pencil case or utensil box that can be carried around in backpacks or stored in desks at school. Do not feel limited to building this pencil case or utensil box out of wood, though you are more than welcome to do so if you would like. You may get creative about the materials that you use, the measurements that you take, or whether you use snaps, zippers, clasps, or hinges. You will surely find out that a simple pencil box can quickly turn into a complex project full of personality if that is your desire.
Grow Your Lunches
Everyone knows that students typically eat what they are given whether it is healthy or not. But your student isn’t learning about where their food is coming from or what impact it has on the Earth if they are only ever eating what they are given. Why not have your student grow a garden full of vegetables and fruits that they can water, weed, grow, chop up, and freeze for use throughout the school year? Not only will you find that they are eating a healthier mix of nutritious foods, you will find that they may even get excited about trying to figure out how to make their fruits and vegetables bigger or tastier. You may even lead them into thinking about the impact or difference in impact that these foods are making on the environment and why it is important to understand, if nothing else, that there are negative impacts when food is processed, driven, and stored at various locations with various chemicals.
Hold Yourself Accountable for Organization
There are hundreds of ways that you can use STEM concepts to help keep you organized for the entire school year. You may choose to utilize technology like cell phones, computers, and tablets to map out and organize schedules and assignments, for example. If you are looking for more of a project, consider building a physical organizational structure that makes sense to you and the purpose that you are hoping to use it for- why not get creative with this? Everyone can benefit from having an even more organized lifestyle and there is no reason not to learn a little something while doing so.
Design Your First Day of School Outfit
Most people think that they must build something, come up with some scientific experiment, or use extreme mathematics to learn new topics at STEM schools. Unfortunately, those methods do not always work for the average student, especially if they fall into the category of those that drag their feet as the new school year approaches. Sewing may be a great option for the more creative student in your life. Give your student a sewing machine, some paper, a pencil, a ruler, and some fabric. Get them thinking about what they really want to create and guide them if they need it. If they are brand new to sewing, try getting them patterns, showing them tutorials, or showing them how to use the clothing that they already must create patterns for the outfit that they are trying to make.
Create an Alarm That Is Sure to Wake You Up
The least fun part of any back to school routine is waking. The average person would never say that they are excited to wake up before the sun does. If you or your student fall into this category, try designing an alarm clock that is both fun and functional for your back to school routine. You can make a simple alarm clock that connects to a phone for time, use gears and wheels to create a functioning clock like antique alarm clocks used to use, or create something entirely new that suits you and your personality. You will certainly get extra credit points for using fun materials, crazy sounds, and a complex system of turning off the device in the morning.
Build, Build, And Build Some More
There have been a few items on this list that have suggested that you build a physical object, but STEM education isn’t always about what physical items you can build. You can build connections, build your knowledge, and research skill set on STEM role models, and build your overall awareness of how STEM plays a part in everyday life. Build ideas, build critical thinking skills, and most importantly build yourself bit by bit with the new STEM concepts that you are learning.
The STEM ideas that have been listed above are just a handful of the many fun activities and creations that you and your students can accomplish as you try to get into the spirit of going back to school this fall. There is no reason that you cannot have a little bit of fun and learn a handful of new STEM concepts along the way? Whatever the mindset you are in now, you are sure to thoroughly enjoy spending this time building, creating, and discovering with your last bit of summer vacation.